APS News Release

School Board Appoints Principals for Fleet, Long Branch Elementary Schools

Names Interim Assistant Superintendent of School and Community Relations and Director of Transportation

The School Board appointed Dr. Francis Legagneur as Principal of Alice West Fleet Elementary School and Jessica DaSilva as Principal of Long Branch Elementary School at its July 1 organizational meeting. Legagneur is currently the assistant principal at Tuckahoe Elementary School and DaSilva comes to Arlington Public Schools (APS) from Fairfax County Public Schools, where she has served as assistant principal of Rolling Valley Elementary School.

“I am delighted to announce these new leadership appointments and promotions,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick K. Murphy. “Each of them demonstrated instructional leadership in their previous positions and they will bring that same talent, enthusiasm and commitment to achieve great results in their new leadership roles for Arlington Public Schools. Their leadership skills and experiences will be an asset to APS and our school communities.”

New Principal Appointments
Francis LegagneurDr. Francis Legagneur – Alice West Fleet Elementary School:
Legagneur has 19 years of experience as an educator. He began his career with Atlanta Public Schools before becoming an assistant principal at Wakefield High School in 2011. Legagneur has a Bachelor of History from the University of Albany; a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Michigan and an Educational Doctorate in School Improvement and Administration from the University of West Georgia.

Legagneur has years of experience supervising and training teachers in various capacities and has demonstrated success as a leader and motivator. Of those he has supervised, many received departmental and district recognition for their performance and emerged as leaders among their peers. His education is a complement to his professional skills when it comes to leadership and management.

In terms of staff development, he has a wealth of experience and success with planning, implementing and presenting. He developed district-wide professional development courses in his prior district with a focus on differentiating instruction and small group work. To meet students’ needs, he will work to ensure that the staff is motivated, focused and confident in the functional areas of their job. He also brings an in-depth knowledge of differentiated instructional strategies designed to enhance teacher instruction and improve student achievement. Utilizing the latest technology tools, math and reading workshop instructional models, understanding how to interpret and utilize district assessments to further instruction, and classroom management professional development workshops all serve to help Legagneur further enhance the classroom learning environment. His appointment begins July 1.

Jessica DaSilvaJessica DaSilva – Long Branch Elementary School:
DaSilva has 15 years of experience in education and began her teaching career as a classroom teacher in 2004 and has served as an Assistant Principal since 2015 with Fairfax County Public Schools. DaSilva received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Elementary Education from Mary Washington College and holds a Master’s of Education from the University of Virginia.

She has had the opportunity to lead initiatives resulting in increased student achievement and moved teams along the Professional Learning Communities continuum, while keeping students at the center of all decision making. DaSilva has implemented school-wide initiatives that have raised the bar and closed the gap in mathematics and literacy instruction.

DaSilva is committed to creating and fostering relationships with students, staff, and the community. Whether it is through community events she has attended or helped facilitate, relationships built with students while co-teaching or pushing in to classrooms, she is committed to building lasting, respectful, working relationships with all stakeholders. She is committed to implementing best practices of instruction for all students to reach his/her full potential. Her appointment begins July 2.

Additional Leadership Appointments
In addition to the two principal appointments, the School Board approved an interim appointment to serve on the Executive Leadership Team and a new Director of Transportation. Both are effective immediately.

Catherine AshbyCatherine Ashby – Interim Assistant Superintendent of School and Community Relations:
The Board appointed Catherine Ashby as Interim Assistant Superintendent of School and Community Relations (SCR), effective July 1. Ashby joined APS as Director of Communications in May 2018 and has served as Acting Assistant Superintendent of SCR since April 1. In her time with APS, she has worked collaboratively with her SCR colleagues and APS leadership and staff to further strengthen communications, introduce new resources, and lead outreach around a wide range of initiatives.

She is a longtime Arlington resident, an APS parent and a public relations professional with 20 years of experience in the field of communications. Prior to joining APS, Ashby spent 18 years and served in various leadership roles at Edelman, a leading global public relations firm. As senior vice president and group director at Edelman, Ashby led a department focused on serving clients in corporate communications and issues management. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from Miami University in Ohio.

Kimberly WilksKimberly Wilks – Director of Transportation Services:
The School Board also appointed Kimberly Wilks as the new Director of Transportation. Wilks brings over 25 years of experience in transportation and is currently serving in the role as Acting Director of Transportation Services for APS. She joined in 2016 as Assistant Director of Transportation Services. Wilks is a strong leader with proven proficiencies working in the public/private transportation arena.

Wilks has demonstrated that given the opportunity, she will invest her talents in contributing to the overall continued success of all students, staff and APS community. She has a record of knowledge, supervision, coordination and skills that deliver high-impact pupil transportation results. Wilks is a skilled, energetic professional with education, drive and determination to facilitate APS goals and Strategic Plan for pupil transportation. She has hands on oversight of daily operations, to include routing, dispatch, operations, training, safety and customer service.

Wilks spent eight years with Prince George’s County Public Schools Transportation Department as a Transportation Operations Supervisor/Supervisor, with daily oversight, providing safe/efficient pupil transportation services to over 83,000 students attending over 200 schools. She supervised approximately 1,400 transportation employees, located at 14 sites. She also has 12 years of experience with Fairfax County as the Transportation Coordinator for the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board providing service to persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.